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  • Oh great, now there's a second version of omicron starting to spread around parts of Asia and Europe.
  • The omicron surge has been another bump in the road for NY's economic recovery, but there are also reasons for optimism.
  • Input Mag has a great piece looking back at the infamous Aqua Teen Hunger Force bomb scare that briefly shut down Boston in 2007: “The fact that it took them an hour to be like, ‘Nah, it’s just a Lite-Brite’ was one of my first real ‘Your tax dollars at work’ moments.”
  • COVID-skeptic grifters are taking advantage of getting sick by using it to grow their brands and make money.
  • Weed use is reportedly on the rise among pregnant and breastfeeding parents, especially to relieve nausea and pain, but everyone is afraid to discuss it openly: “I had to take care of myself,” one woman said. “I was desperate and so I just did what I knew would work...I was 13 weeks pregnant, taking bong rips for breakfast.”
  • Two upcoming cookbooks by NY Times columnist Melissa Clark and Mason Hereford have had their releases delayed after the books "sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic during shipping."
  • A woman whose COVID-infected husband is “on death’s doorstep” is suing Mount Sinai West to try to force them to give him Ivermectin, which the FDA has specifically said is not authorized or recommended.
  • There's a cat named Willow living in the White House now.
  • Will Jason Momoa become the next action movie star to join the Fast & Furious franchise? Probably.
  • You're not really a successful indie band until you play your latest single on Ellen—to that end, Japanese Breakfast performed "Be Sweet" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
  • RIP to the Jackson Heights White Castle, which closed this week after 86 years in the neighborhood.
  • It's the last New Music Friday of the month before an absolutely stacked February full of great new releases. But make sure you check out Amber Mark's long-awaited debut Three Dimensions Deep, which sees her having a lot of fun with soul/R&B/pop melodies. You can also finally listen to The Beatles' full rooftop concert performance. There's a deluxe reissue of Blossom Toes' twee-psych masterpiece We Are Ever So Clean. And don't sleep on MJ Lenderman's great lofi rock anthem "Hangover Game."
  • And finally, make sure you take your dog out for some playtime in the snow this weekend (if they're into that):